Category Archives: on life

Reflections on my 2006 (T-243)

I guess I can call this Hobie’s “Best-of and Worst-of 2006 List”.

That would definitely imply I remember a whole lot of what happened in 2006. I do remember a lot of stuff, especially recent things, but I will try my best to get a good representative sampling of what happened throughout the year – that’s why I have this damn journal in the first place. But before I get into it, I want to wish everyone out there in the world a great Happy New Year and all the best for a stellar 2007. Like I said, I’ve already my New Year’s Resolution: No Regrets, No Fear. I am basically upheaving my life in the latter-half of 2007, and if I’m not ready for lots of changes and lots of stress, I’m going to be fighting a losing battle. But I am totally ready for it, and I hope you all are too. Because you all will have a part to play too, but that will be for later. It’s not even 2007 and I’m planning out your year for you. What a jerk!

So you may be asking yourself, why exactly is he typing this crap up? Why isn’t he out having a life? Well, my inquisitive (nosy) friends, it’s because all my friends who I would hang out with are out of the state or out of the city, and can’t get back in because the roads are pretty much ridiculous inter-state still. So I sit here at home, drinking beer and updating my website. I did cook…wait a second, you guys don’t even know about my new habit of trying to actually cook for myself, do you? Well, I’m pretty much as anti-cooking as you can get, but I’ve realized I’m tired of having to go get food everytime I want it. It’s expensive and sometimes I really don’t want to leave the house. So I got my act together and got some cookbooks at Barnes & Noble. I got some books from Sandra Lee, who has the ‘Semi-Homemade’ style and who is on the Food Network. Her show and books are pretty cool because she uses 70% store-bought products and 30% from-scratch ingredients, and when all is said and done, in 20 minutes, you’ve got some pretty damn good food. And I like to not reinvent the wheel, so if I can just combine some premade stuff already, fine by me. I tried my first recipe this past week, called Kahlua Jerk Chicken. It was awesome. I officially feel domestic. And then I made my Italian Dressing chicken with Roasted Chicken rice and Caesar salad tonight. Yum. I love chicken, by the way. It tastes so damn good and depending on what sauce or marinade you put on it, it can take on a whole new taste. Yum.

So, enough of that tangent. 2007 is tomorrow! And I’ve got a list to get to… So with no further ado:

  • Starting off 2006 with Byron, Robbie and Co. in San Antonio. Being with great friends is always a great way to start a year. I figure that somehow jinxed 2006, so maybe starting out 2007 alone means it’ll be a stellar year???
  • Loving my new home. Redesigning and painting it to my completely awesome style and taste… well, I like it, so that’s all that matters. Entertaining family and friends in it. Barbequing for the first time on my own grill. Having a fire pit. Designing a pretty kickass home theater room. Having ideas for a lot more changes to the house in 2007. Just having my own house rocks.
  • Being a Flight Commander at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. For better and for worse, it’s been one hell of a learning experience. I’ve really learned a lot from having to deal with a crazy mixture of civilians, military, and contractors. I’ve not always made the right decision or move, and when I made the wrong one, I learned my lesson and typically learned to not make the same mistake again. I know I have sometimes made the mistake again, but that’s just being human. To counter the bad stuff though are the few glimmers of success and happiness that I think I’ve been the cause of. My flight constantly has most of the award winners in it, we have pretty damn good morale in the flight considering all the crap we deal with, and all-in-all, we get the job done well. I think I’ve earned a good reputation in the squadron and the group, certain people notwithstanding. This job has also helped me to realize that the military is no longer for me. I know I can do a good job here, but I frankly am tired of the idiosyncracies and retardations found within it. Everybody tells me the civilian world is the same – I recognize that. But I’m fine with it. I just can’t imagine being at that job for another 3 years. I’d lose all my hair by then. And I don’t have all that much left to lose. ūüôā That moment when I dropped my separation paperwork was a strangely surreal one. I’d thought about separating from the Air Force for nearly 3 years by that point, but actually doing it, getting accepted, and getting PAID to separate is pretty damn awesome. I’ve got to get myself ready for it though at the start of 2007. I plan on taking off the uniform, putting on a super sharp suit, and heading to my next job in a week or two after the Air Force. Cross your fingers.
  • My car. Catherine has proved to be quite a Colorado champ, even if she had some adjustment pains when we first got here (no antifreeze, breaking down for a week or so). But she loves the snow, and even when she got stuck in snow last week, she’s fully ready to be pulled out of it. Go VW!
  • Falling in love with Skiing. I knew that I had enjoyed it when I had gone those sporadic times in the past, but actually going to Breckenridge and Keystone and Copper Mtn (in 2006) sealed the case shut. I was hooked. So I went and bought my own set of skis and accessories, including a ski rack for Catherine. I got the Colorado Pass so I’m totally ready for a full 2007 season.
  • VEGAS!!!! I’ve realized that I have inherited my mother’s addiction to gambling. But I embrace it. I went quite a few times this year, and while I never walked away with more money than I came with, I could give a rats ass. It was always fun, and that was really the important thing. My birthday party there and July 4th were two especially fun trips out there, as I got to party with friends and I got to ride in a freakin’ HELICOPTER!
  • Dealing Craps. Dave Fox and I had always talked about how fun it would be to deal craps, and he even said he’d be willing to go to the casino schools so he could actually get a job there in Vegas doing it. I knew I was leaving, so that was never an option for me. But when I rented a craps table in June to prepare my friends for playing craps (although I think I was the main enjoyer of the table – they did learn how to play though!!!) and ended up chatting up the owner of the company, Deuces Wild, and I got offered a job to deal craps, I couldn’t say no. I think I was hired under false pretenses (she mistakenly thought from our conversation that I had been a professional dealer in Vegas…), but I proved more than capable of doing the job. I even made a few hundred bucks doing it. Sweet. I don’t know how much I’ll get to deal in the beginning of 2007, as there really aren’t that many events and she has tons of dealers now. But next holiday season, I hope to get called back!
  • A Frequently Changing Website. At least the look of the front page. I know I don’t update nearly as much as I should sometimes, but I get in those moods. You know. But I was getting tired of my over 3-year-old look that I had developed while in the Azores. So first I shut the page down completely in a fit of ennui, but sitting there stewing in it, I decided I just needed a change. So I went to my trusty blank piece of white paper and sketched out what I thought would work. I transferred it to Dreamweaver, and many hours later, we had the first change with a closeup of my demonic mug staring at you in 4 colors, but 4 colors that changed and such with creative mouseovers. Yes, I am that cool. Many pictures and controversial collages ensued (I STILL get grief for not including some peoples’ pictures on that damn collage, hence why I totally changed that again) and we’re at the current static pic look very reminiscent of the old blue Azores design. Again, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • New Social Scene in the Springs. As my February journal entry can attest to, I took a while to find some friends out here. And it got to me pretty damn quick. This job is stressful, and not having an outlet is definitely not healthy. I started hanging out with folks by the end of February, and in March I solidified the core group I would still be hanging out with to this day, that being Susan, Jeff and KD (along with various others, of course). We had some hellaciously good times, starting from that first hang-out at the Olive Garden, continuing to a raucous good time at RumBay on St Patrick’s Day, and then of course the many parties at each others’ homes, out at the clubs, Las Vegas, movies, skit trips, Denver, etc. So while it may have started out a bit slow for me, my friend circle definitely improved. And while I’m bitching about the holidays right now, I did that to myself, sortof. Anyways, I’m happy to have found this great group of friends. There’s been plenty of drama (PLENTY) to go along with the good times, but the good times far outweigh the bad.
  • Good TV!!! 24 ruled, Survivor was fun, and a whole slew of new shows came out and I fell in love with Ugly Betty.
  • Static Electricity – the Fight still goes on. Yes, a key helps to diffuse the pain, but dammit, why must I use it at all? I do hate it though when I’m changing my bedsheets – there is a freakin’ insane amount of static electricity generated when you do that. I shudder to even use the key. I’ve forgotten to use the key and I literally feel like I’ve been attacked with a taser.
  • Reunions with Friends. I love when I get the chance to see out-of-state friends again. Boris’ wedding in Denver, New Year’s in San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles. Good times, and reminds me why I liked them in the first place! ūüėČ
  • Reunions with Family. What is even better though is when family comes to see you! And now that I actually have room to put up guests, the visits actually occurred! Starting with Mom, Harv, and Helen in May, then Dad and Pat twice in the summer, it was awesome to see them all again. But why is no one coming to visit during the winter? It’s just a little cold…
  • Turning 30!!!!!! Egads. I still think I have trouble dealing with this whole new age thing, but honestly, I’ve been able to lie to myself enough now where I actually believe it is all about how you feel rather than what your number tells you you should feel. And I feel damn good. I ushered in this ’30’ nonsense pretty good though – the Colorado Springs-based events were awesome and Vegas followed it up with plenty of stellar goodness. I turned 30 exactly the way I wanted to.

Okay, I think I’m done with the reminiscing. It was definitely an interesting and LONG year, no matter how many people say it flew by. I am under the distinct impression it was one of the longest years I’ve ever had. Not that I’m wanting life to fly by, but damn. I guess I’m happy that it seemed to go on a long time. I think there was a lot of fun, a lot of drama, a lot of crap, but all in all, it was a year not to forget. Like I said, 2007 promises to be even more intriguing.

Happy New Year’s!!!!!! See you in 2007. Stay safe, and remember, No Fear, No Regrets!

Merry Christmas (T-249)

Another one done.

When you’re alone for the holidays, they pretty much suck. Didn’t go home for the holidays, and all my friends here went away. So today was sort of anticlimactic, like last year. Oh well, another thing to add to the list of things wonderful about being a flight commander and being in the military. Have I said lately that I can’t wait to get the FUCK OUT of the military?

So I have been reading Lisey’s Story (Stephen King’s latest book) – which I didn’t finish yet by the way – and there was something written that made me crack up. Basically the main character has her inner monologue and she references this: Things About Life Lisey Was Wrong About. All capitalized just like I put it there. It was hilarious, because she said that that list is quite long (maybe you have to have been there, but in the context of the story, it WAS funny!). I must say that the Things About Life Hobie Was Wrong About list is probably as long as I expect hers to have been.

I think I’ll have to make a section on the site devoted to TALHWWA (pronounced tal-whaaaa). Could be amusing to compile.

I didn’t make it to Breckenridge today. I had high hopes, but didn’t get to bed as early as I should have yesterday, and there was no way I was going to be awake enough to drive 2.5 hours out there, ski a day, then 2.5 hours back with only 3-4 hours of sleep. So I stayed home, slept in, read my book, watched Little Miss Sunshine (funny, yet sad movie), played some Final Fantasy XII, and am now here typing away, waiting for the holidays to be fucking over.

I’m trying to remember the last time I really enjoyed the Christmas time of year. It’s been a while.

Anyways, enough of my pathetic diatribe. Hope you all had a great holidays and here’s to a 2007 like no other. I plan to make it a year to remember. I think you all will too. The theme for my New Year’s Resolution has already been decided: No Regrets, No Fear. And dammit, I will embrace that mantra for better or for worse. Like I said, 2007 will be quite a ride.

Late Update: I got out my Photoshop Books and put some of the fun tricks contained within to use tonight. I have made a new page (click here) ‘showcasing’ my modifications to pictures I’ve taken. I must toot my own horn here – I like what a bit of digital manipulation can do.

What a month! (T-305)

Seriously, don’t really want to repeat October 2006 again. UNFUN.¬†Where do I begin?

I guess I’ll try to start from where I left off in September. I went to Alabama, which was a lot of fun. SMSgt Peele graduated as a Distinguished Graduate, so good for her. My whirlwind trip was over as soon as it began though, and then when I got back I rebuilt my spankin’ new gaming rig. It rocks. I had some minor things to work out while building it, and successfully resolved them so that my PC works works works.

And that was pretty much the end of the good times.

I won’t even begin to go into what began the spiral of doom, but it was not fun to deal with.

Then our UCI and ORI began. I got relegated to night shifts. And it kept kinda changing. So I was always tired, but also not really not a very strong part of the flight during this time. So I felt pretty bad about being not there. So two weeks went by and I finally got to return to my normal hours. And then even more fun began. My first day back, and in the midst of trying to avoid some writeups in the Info Assurance program, two of my folks had a complete shouting match in my office. It only gets better. On the Monday following the ORI/UCI, we got our results – an Excellent overall. Sweet. We got the rest of that day off. Then on Tuesday, I was handed three letters of complaint against me. Big fun, I tell ya. That happened on my Mom’s birthday, and it was all I could do not to freakin’ cry over the phone, but I didn’t want to do that on her day.

So basically, it’s been a whole lot of fun in October. I’ve obviously given you the most concise version possible. If I had been writing about this during the actual events, I’m sure you’d be reading a whole LOT more from me.

But the last week hasn’t been so bad. I got to experience my first official blizzard here in Colorado Springs. I have pictures from it, because it was pretty cool. Then on Saturday, we had a Halloween party. I was a bowling cowboy. I was also a raging alcoholic. And I paid for it all Sunday. Blech. Haven’t vomited like that in a while. Ech.

And oh yeah, I turn 30 on Friday. I don’t even think I care anymore. It’s only 30.

I just want ski season to start and then I suddenly want it to be September 2007. I mean, I want out so bad it’s not even funny.

Anyways, I just wanted to finally update – I do have pictures to post, but that will have to wait for a little bit longer. I promise to have it up…before my birthday!!!

Speaking of which, the thing that has REALLY been keeping me sane is that I’m going to Vegas in a few short weeks. Sweet.

So, was it really worth the wait? Probably not. But maybe the promise of pictures in the next update will satisfy???? Eh, probably not…

Halloween Party at the Salga House

So Angelo & I got coerced to have the CGOC Halloween party at our house. I must admit, the place was perfect for it, albeit a little small and out of the way for most of the CGOs. But whatever, the party was a blast. I remember getting completely sloshed and having the weirdest costume ever. I don’t even think it counts as a costume. And I still have the pants. And boy did we all dance that night – my computer’s mp3 dance collection was put to full use and it was fortunate there was no neighbors right next to us. I do remember putting real candles in the candelabra above the dance floor and the candles burning down to the end and dripping on people below. Perhaps not my best idea?

Update from May 2020:

I’m kind of on a kick to dive into my early, pre-Larry pictures, especially those when I was always so cognizent of trying to manage memory card space.¬† LOL.¬† ¬†Anyway, yeah, this was a fucking epic party.¬† Once Angelo & I embraced having the party at our place, it was just ‘on’.¬† Kasey & the crew all came over to get it ready, and damn, that basically meant snacks and the strongest alcohol you could muster.¬† ¬†And decorations.¬† ¬†As I remarked even in my original site’s page about this, my costume was insane.¬† ¬†I have no idea what I was thinking, as clearly, looking back now, there was lots o’ gay symbolism in my yin/yang good/bad theming.

So the party become not just drinking and laughing and hanging out, but it became a full on dance party.¬† And the house was not that big, but we all were hanging out in the main living room area underneath the LIT candelabra.¬† My computer was right there and was the DJ booth, and while there was plenty of songs, the one that I can STILL remember to this day having the most epic time dancing to was when put on “Dive in the Pool” by Barry Harris & Pepper MaShay.¬† This song was introduced to me by Angelo and I loved it – and it’s just a fucking stomper.¬† ¬†You always hope others feel about it the same way you do, and trust me, the moment in the song after letting you catch your breath when Pepper commands everyone to “let’s get soaking wet!!!” (specifically at about the 3:05 mark) and the music comes thundering back in?¬† ¬†OH YOU KNOW THE HOUSE WAS JUMPING.¬† ¬†Everyone, even Sunday who was a little more calmer than us, was right next to me jumping up and down.

I will never forget that moment.¬† ¬†Before and after?¬† ¬†Yeah, I was blackout drunk.¬† I had had way too many jello shots and whatever was there – when you’re 25, it’s so easy to drink anything.¬† I do remember a pivotal part at the end of the night though – most people had left, but Angelo’s Portuguese friends had been partying with us and they were all getting ready to head out and continue the party out on the island.¬† I knew our house was a mess and I didn’t want to leave as Jason had passed out in the shower, literally, and I didn’t want to just ditch those who were staying over.¬† ¬†But I know, with a reasonable amount of certainty, I probably could have had a first gay time out if I had gone with.¬† ¬†I knew that Angelo was gay, and his Azorean friends were a mix, and I probably could have had some fun that night.¬† But geez, you see what I had all over me that night – I can’t even imagine.¬† Seriously though, I do wonder what could have happened later that night!¬† ¬†Instead, passed out pretty quickly and probably for the best!¬† ¬†I remember the next day, we had a decent breakfast outside on the patio area and remarkably, wasn’t honestly that hungover.¬† ¬†I mean, yes, but not debilitatingly so like I’d had before and plenty times after.

It’s fun to remember those times, and that’s why I’m trying to populate this site and expand on what I could and couldn’t say when these pages were first built out – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a hell of a thing.

Original Site Link

October 29, 2001 @ Baia da Salga, Terceira

An Initiation to Tropical Point

Tropical Point is the restaurant that is pretty much at the end of the pub crawl of Praia. It is the last restaurant you encounter and is directly across the street from the ‘beach’ of Praia. What is cool about Tropical Point is that you can get a lot of different stuff to eat, and it’s relatively cheap. They’re always open, just like Vegas, and you can be assured of good food and friendly service. I sound like the freakin’ Michelin guide or something. Anyways, these pictures were taken on one of my first visits to Tropical Point, and definitely the first time with Amy, who was there to meet Boris. So Melrose Place…. Also, I got one of my first tastes of moonshine, uh, I mean Aguardente. Aguardente is this really strong alcohol (I don’t even know if it falls in a certain category, like brandy, vodka, etc.) that clears your sinuses by the smell alone. Oy vay. What’s funny is when you’re drunk, you can drink that stuff real easy. But sober, uh uh. Also, I think I was introduced to Alcatra that night, which is the best beef or chicken stew that you’ve ever tasted. It does depend on where you go – Tropical Point’s was alright, Quinta da Martelo’s was OUTRAGEOUSLY good, and A Ilha’s was very good most days (other days, not so good).

May 2020 Update:

It’s funny how I can remember that the CGOC crew thought Amy and Boris could be a good match, mostly because they were both young and Jewish.¬† ¬†It didn’t end up happening, and probably for the best as they are definitely different.¬† ¬†I remember that it was almost inevitable that you’d get something to eat at Tropical Point any time you’d be in Praia for a pub crawl.¬† ¬†I mean, it was just inevitable.¬† ¬†The friendliest staff too, and it was just such a pleasure to go there.¬† I really was lucky to have met those folks, and the reason I did know them all so quickly was due to me knowing Jason Rubi, who had started his tour just a few months earlier than me.¬† We were friends from UCLA AFROTC and it was an awesome, fortunate coincidence that we got to be stationed together at Lajes AB, of all fucking places, at the same time.¬† He was loved by everyone already, so it made it very easy to join that crew.

I know from many times and situations before and after, if I don’t have someone who will vouch for me and get me through the door of certain groupings, I tend to have a much harder time of it to make inroads.¬† ¬†Especially military stuff – honestly, a lot of times I just didn’t fit in with the typical male military officer mindset.¬† ¬†Unsaid there is typical straight male military officer mindset – the early phase is boozing and babes, while looking for someone who might be wife material.¬† ¬†It’s reductionist, I know, but believe me, it’s the fucking truth.¬† And yeah, clearly, I was not on the lookout for babes or a wife.¬† I did like drinking, so yay!¬† I was keenly aware of how attractive so many of my peers were, which probably is one of the roadblocks to me being relaxed around them.¬† The later phase is of course married life and children, again, something I was not exactly going to have while in the military under DADT.¬† Just a very hard existence, and I did it for 8 years.¬† ¬†I’ve commented on it before in this blog, but yeah, I loved the experiences I did have, but what a fucking waste of my youth to have to live in the closet.¬† Fuck.

September 2001 – Tropical Point @ Praia da Vittoria, Terceira